When one consumes a curated collection of art, regardless of the medium, there is more often than not a blatant artist statement or verbal declaration of intent. On rare occasions, one may come across an assemblage so carefully put together that even the slightest explanation would do it absolutely no justice. This was the case at The Foundry’s Wednesday night show that included Queen Jo, Rayana Jay, and headling act Junglepussy. Three women at the mic, backed by two women at the DJ decks, delivered seemingly endless prideful, raunchy and unapologetic lyrics for an empowering set that commanded the audience to take charge of their sexuality, identities, lives.
The show, which was slated to begin at 8 p.m., got off to a slow start. The medium-sized venue nestled beyond a narrow stairway above The Fillmore welcomed only a handful of concertgoers at first. As some pondered the late start and related it to the small crowd, Philadelphia native Queen Jo appeared on the stage unannounced. Individuals who were lounging on the perimeter couches rushed to get a better view of the rapper.
Queen Jo, clad in an Asian-inspired blouse and cowprint miniskirt, performed music from her recently released project Some Women Are From Mars. On her Soundcloud, Queen Jo describes the album as her “account of dating as a millennial; where the men seem foreign and she learns to embrace her divine masculinity as much as her femininity.” Despite performing only a handful of songs, new fans got a solid crash course of her sound — a little bit of boom-bap, a little bit of house, and a whole lot of sexual liberation and fuckboy shaming.
Next, to the stage, all the way from The Bay was Rayana Jay. The West Coast songstress served exorbitant amounts of black girl magic with her stiletto manicured nails, “Oakland” tee with a Black Panther Party logo. Between shameless songs about romantic relationships turned “it’s complicated” and hazy chill songs like “Wayback,” Rayana Jay and her tour DJ, DJ Red Corvette, engaged in playful banter and fleeting twerk sessions and body roll breaks. For much of the audience, this was their first time being acquainted with the singer, but once her set was over the whoops and cheers coming from the audience suggested that Rayana gained a few new fans.
It wasn’t long before the Brooklyn born Trinidadian and Jamaican rapper came on stage. If her name didn’t already allude to sexual freedom, Junglepussy spent the night twerking, duttywining, and neck rolling while promoting self-love and self-care.
By this time, the venue was more crowded but still not packed. This did not stop Junglepussy from maintaining a supremely high level of energy or mentioning Trader Joe’s at least three times during her set.
Junglepussy’s performance of “Bling Bling” was the song that encompassed the self-care and bad man denouncing of the evening. “Bling bling bitch. I do my own thing bitch. / Fuck a wedding ring that dingaling was just a fling bitch. / It’s a full-time job fucking loving yourself. / Niggas try to rob a bitch for her self-wealth and her mental health.”
After performing her last song, the audience demanded Junglepussy’s return to the stage. Once she returned, she asked the crowd what song they wanted as an encore, and some requested “Stitches” — a song that Junglepussy felt was too violent. Instead, she performed “Showers” after shouting out her 4-year-old nephew.
“Y’all gonna get me emotional,” she said. “My nephew on that track. I miss him.”
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